Tom Lamb, Hall of Fame football coach from Natick (Mass.) High School, has returned to coaching as an assistant with English High School in Boston. Boston Globe correspondent Lenny Megliola has the story. Congratulations to Coach Lamb for returning to the gridiron to work with young athletes.
Coach Lamb’s interview on the state of high school athletics was featured on Connecticut Sports Law in the summer of 2009. The interview remains one of my favorite pieces that I’ve posted and I often refer back to Coach Lamb’s insights on various issues in high school athletics such as recruiting and specialization. Here is an excerpt from that interview:
Dan Fitzgerald: Have you seen less 2 and 3 sport athletes and more specialization over your career?
Tom Lamb: Yes, and it’s unfortunate. We even had Doug Flutie come in and speak to the student-athletes about the value of playing multiple sports. When we interview coaches we ask them “can you respect kids playing other sports?”
DF: What are some of the reasons behind specialization?
TL: AAU and travel teams are certainly a factor. As coaches have figured out how to make money from AAU, more teams have been formed. I wonder whether high school athletics will exist 20 years from now, or whether we’ll move to a European model.
DF: There appears to be a trend of websites and businesses designed to help student-athletes get recruited. Are they effective? Do high schools provide services to help students navigate the recruitment process?
TL: These services are popping up everywhere. They are expensive, but can be helpful. I tell parents and student-athletes that you don’t need them, but you do need to know what you are doing. A student athlete gets recruited once in a lifetime. College coaches recruit hundreds of players each year. So the bottom line is that players and parents need to be educated.
I personally get involved with recruiting as I have some unique experience, having had a number of players recruited, including Doug Flutie, who was recruited by Boston College, and my son, Joel, who was recruited by Harvard. While I was on the staff at Northeastern, I did some recruiting and was in the position of offering scholarships.